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How Junichiro Koizumi seized the leadership of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party



In this paper, we examine some of the ways in which Koizumi Junichiro took advantage of changes in television news to win the 2001 Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) presidential election and become prime minister of Japan. Koizumi adopted a strategy of political populism to increase his exposure in the media and develop a public reputation. Changes in the LDP selection procedure, in combination with long-term social and economic change and political reform, meant that the media mattered more to his campaign than had previously been the case. We use data from the Japan Election Study II (JES II) to show that the effects of Koizumi' media-driven popularity and style of politics reversed the LDP' electoral fortunes in the Upper House Election in 2001.



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We are grateful to the twenty-first century COE program, Invention of Policy Systems in Advanced Countries and the Suntory Foundation for financial support.We would also like to thank Sam Popkin, James Hamilton, Susan Shirk, Masaki Taniguchi, David Leheny, and Sean Richey for comments on previous drafts.


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Japanese Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 1468-1099
  • EISSN: 1474-0060
  • URL: /core/journals/japanese-journal-of-political-science
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